After watching the Week 3 matchups, Scouts Inc. shares these key observations:
1. This is two weeks in a row that New York Jets TE Dustin Keller has shined. As I have been saying for some time, he needs to be Mark Sanchez's best friend in the passing game. He is very capable. Sanchez loves to use play-action and few tight ends can make big plays off play-action like Keller. He reminds me of Dallas Clark, but is stronger and more physical. Consider the Jets' opening touchdown in their Week 3 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Keller made a great catch and Sanchez a fine throw; Keller also displayed his ability to get deep. Keller lines up in many spots in the formation. He can exploit linebackers and safeties alike while helping Sanchez to dictate coverages presnap. I have been extremely critical of Sanchez, and trust me, I am not sold on him, but the emergence of Keller is instrumental in his development. It is very apparent that Sanchez has found his No. 1 target, especially while Braylon Edwards sat out the first quarter. Miami game-planned to take Keller away after that, but the damage was done and that schematic change opened up space for Keller's teammates.
2. The Dolphins' defense is much improved over the 2009 edition. The acquisition of linebacker Karlos Dansby has to rank right at the top of offseason free-agent signings. He is exactly what that position needed from a year ago. Second-year Dolphin Cameron Wake, the former Canadian Football League star, is also a major upgrade as a pass-rusher and overall playmaker at outside linebacker. But most of all, this secondary has surprised me. It now has a pair of big, physical corners that the Dolphins are comfortable playing man-to-man with. Despite slipping on a tackle attempt when left alone against Edwards, which resulted in a long touchdown, Jason Allen looks like a totally different player from any point of his otherwise disappointing NFL career. And Vontae Davis is on a path to stardom. Not only is Miami better coached on this side of the ball from a year ago, but there is an upgrade in personnel as well from an athletic and playmaking perspective.